Day 1 of 30: Walk With Me
I awoke to a beautiful morning today, clear and crisp accompanied with a beautiful sunrise and morning fog stretching across a nearby field. As I left my apartment to take my daughter to the bus stop, I opened the door to a Starbucks coffee and a card left on the doorstep by my husband.
I grabbed the coffee and committed to spending the morning with the Lord and practicing self-care.
I can’t stop thinking about the story of Joshua and Jericho. I know what I heard from God, but I don’t know what it means and I am wondering if I’m a fool. I’m okay with divorce at this point—I even have a picture of an adorable cottage I’ve been praying over and have started to have hope for a new future without my husband. I’ve been praying through what God’s direction is for my career and starting to get some direction. Now, I don’t know if God told me “Watch what I do” changes any of that. I don’t know what His plans are, but I know that they are good. I know when I look over His creation on this beautiful morning that I haven’t made any universes, but He has. I know I make a mess of my life when I go at it alone. Every. Single. Time. But He is sovereign. He makes no mistakes. I know He holds the entire universe in His hands and absolutely nothing is too big for Him. He is in control; I am not. I submit my selfish desires and my entire life to Him. He is not revealing His complete plans for me, but He is lighting the way one step at a time. He is calling me to a journey with Him right now and I’m taking it a step at a time.
After coffee and time in the Word reading about Joshua and Jericho (where it’s also not lost on me that Rahab, the prostitute, was saved during this event—I remembered the story about her hiding the spies, but didn’t realize she lived in Jericho and was saved in this story), I grabbed my phone and some earphones and headed out on a 4-mile walk. I played my Jesus Loves Me playlist I created on Spotify as I walked.
As I started out, I reflected on what I had just read and I wondered what Joshua thought about the Lord directing him to march his army around the city walls of Jericho once a day for seven days, sounding their trumpets, until the seventh day when they were to circle the city seven times, sound their trumpets, and then yell, which would bring down the walls and deliver the city to his army. Did Joshua go forth bravely and boldly, confident in the Lord’s direction? Or was he more like me…worried and anxious about what people would think, the appearance of being crazy, and questioning why?
Why, Lord? Forgive me for asking, but I don’t understand.
I’m holding off on a divorce for 30 days, not leading an army around a city threatening to take them down by music. But I’m asking that question.
It leads me to ask myself how much I’m willing to do for Jesus. How far will I go when called? What will I be willing to endure? Am I willing to suffer being made to look like a fool? Persecution? Death?
When the rubber meets the road, will I be the Peter at Jesus’ trial or the Peter in the book of Acts?
I want to be the Peter in Acts. The same man who denied Jesus became emboldened to spread the gospel, create the church, and lose his life because of it. He died a gruesome death, crucified upside down because he didn’t feel worthy to die in the same way Jesus had.
I ask you, who loses their life over a lie? Peter walked with Jesus and it changed him in unimaginable ways. It changed all the disciples. Every single disciple aside from John died a violent death. I have a long way to go, but I know my own life has been transformed as a result of my relationship with Jesus and that I can not do life without him. I think about this as I Want Jesus To Walk With Me by Alex Boyé plays in my earphones.
As I continued to meditate on these things, the live version of the song It Is Well by Kristene Dimarco came on. There’s a lyric in the song that talks about the “mountain in front of me” being “thrown into the midst of the sea” and the crowd cheers when she sings it. I would cheer during that part of the song during worship at church. But… I wasn’t at church. I was taking a walk in an affluent neighborhood with other people out and about all around me.
I saw an opportunity to be pushed a little out of my comfort zone. As the music played and I felt close to God, I committed to cheering during that part of the song. As the moment approached, I noticed a couple walking across the street.
…” and the mountain that’s in front of me…” Here we go…
…”will be thrown into the midst of the sea…” Woo hoo!!
The crowd cheers and I do a fist pump into the air! Then I immediately bring it down and adjust my hat. I look around a little and then down at the ground a bit and keep walking.
Hhmphh. That felt both slightly exhilarating and super disappointing. I keep walking.
I have the entire Chris Rice album Peace Like A River: The Hymns Project on my playlist. Seriously, check it out. It’s amazing. If cassettes were still a thing, mine would probably be on its last leg due to being played so much, especially during this season of life. Every song is amazing. One of the songs that play during my walk is called O Freedom. As it’s playing I realize I want to use this next 30 days to dive deeply into what God has in store. Whatever His plans are for me don’t matter. Whatever happens, He is good. I want to use this time to know Him more, to seek His face like David in Psalm 27.
I Can Only Imagine by Mercy Me plays. This song is amazing. I mean, I believe most of us vastly underestimate what it must be like to truly be in the presence of the Lord: a holy, brilliant, blazing flame that can’t even be described in human terms. What will it be like when I’m face to face with Him one day—the Creator of the universe and everything in it who died for someone like me?!
It Is Well With My Soul comes on by Chris Rice. That’s it. I’m singing. My volume is turned up and I can’t hear my own voice, which is probably both a blessing and a curse. I round a corner and see multiple people. One couple, walking their dog, is heading toward me. I notice the area I’m in contains affluent neighborhoods surrounded by brick walls. Maybe this is my own little Jericho. Not really, but it’s a beginning.
I sing It Is Well With My Soul as I walk. As I near the oncoming couple and their dog, the husband moves into the grass…probably farther than is necessary. The wife stays on the sidewalk as we pass, but her head is down and neither of them makes eye contact.
I smile and keep singing as I walk. Lord, I pray, if I’m a fool, let me be a fool for You. Grow me. Change me. Your will be done.
Live Like You’re Loved by Hawk Nelson comes on next. My focus today is on doing just that.